RSS

Category Archives: People

Anyone remember this building before the State took it over?

This lonely building at the corner of West Trade and South Graham Streets sits in the shadow of BB&T and Bank of America Stadiums serves as a reminder of Charlotte in its small town days.  Serving as a full service Buick dealership, it was owned by C. C. Coddington (the first C standing for Charles) it was a showcase in its day.

The Coddington Building. Picture taken January 2015 by the author.

Built in 1925 it served as his Buick Dealership (one of his officers was Lee Folger, who would go on to establish his own Buick dealership later) which was one of the first in the Carolinas.  When it was completed in 1925 at the west end of Center City Charlotte near the Southern Railway station on West Trade Street it was considered one if the finest buildings in the City. This building also housed WBT Radio (1110 AM), which Mr. Coddington brought in 1925 and used the call letters to help promote his dealership (Watch Buicks Travel).   I found this picture of the almost completed building on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Website:

Coddington Building, 1925.  Picture courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

After it was sold to the State of North Carolina and renamed the Polk Building for President James K. Polk of Pineville it was used for various state agencies until they moved out to the suburbs in the early 1990’s.  According to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Real Estate Lookup database, it was sold by the state to Trinity Capital Partners in 2006 which turned around and sold it to the Crosland Company and one of their subsidiaries in 2008. in It has stood as a lone symbol on West Trade Street of what the City used to look like; deteriorating with scaffolding that has been there for at least a decade it is a shame that the current owners try to rehab and bring it back to its glory it like they did with the old Charlotte Cotton Mills just one block over on West Fifth Street.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Buildings, History, People

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Confederate Memorials – Stay or go?

I’m sorry that I haven’t done a blog entry in a couple of weeks – I hope that this will get you to think.

I normally don’t get into current events on this blog, but with the events in Charleston last week and the current debate about the Confederate Battle Flag and Confederate monuments and its place in public spaces I thought I would weigh in on the debate.

Charlotte, along with many other Southern cities has their monuments to the war in many places.  If you remember my Memorial Day entry I showed the one at Elmwood Cemetery:

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

The Confederate Monument at Elmwood Cemetery. Photo taken by author.

There are some small ones in the Center City – one talks about where Jefferson Davis was when he heard about the assassination of President Lincoln and another one designates the location of where the Confederate Cabinet had their last meeting before Appomattox. Both of these are on private property on South Tryon Street.  The ones that are raising a stink here are located on City and County property.

This monument located on the grounds of the old City Hall was placed there in 1977:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Confederate Soldiers Monument on the grounds of the Old City Hall. Photo taken by Tom Vincent

This one is located near Central Piedmont Community College and was erected in honor of the 1929 veterans reunion, please note the bottom part of the inscription:

Confederate Veterans Marker at CPCC.  Photo taken by the author.

Confederate Veterans Marker at CPCC. Photo taken by the author.

All of these monuments are on either city owned or county owned property which is owned by the public and paid for with tax dollars.  Now the current debate is whether or not they need to stay on public property or not.  While I feel that they do not need to be in places such as the Old City Hall and Central Piedmont Community College, they don’t need to removed all together.

In my opinion, the perfect place for these monuments is Elmwood Cemetery which is owned by the city, but has an established Confederate Memorial at the graves of those who fought in the war and was buried there.  This way, it is out of sight of those who really don’t need to be reminded of slavery and the war and has easy access for those who feel the need to honor a time where brother fought brother. And if you really think about it, those that voted for succession were really traitors to the United States and because of the war and its aftermath, an entire region was decimated both politically and economically and an entire generation of men were killed or wounded.

If you want to read more about why the monuments were built and placed, please check out:

Still Fighting the Civil War and America Aflame by Dr. David Goldfield.  Both of these can be ordered on-line via Amazon or locally at Park Road Books.

Monuments to the Lost Cause – Women, Art and the Landscapes of Southern Memory by Cynthia Mills.

Ghosts of the Confederacy – Defeat, the Lost Cause and the Emergence of the New South by Gaines F. Foster.

Now, back to your regular programming…

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 27, 2015 in History, People

 

Tags:

TBT – Cecil Street (Again?)

Okay – I seem to have a fascination with Cecil Street, which is now considered Kings Drive.  Back in the day however, Cecil Street used to end at the pasture for Thompson Orphanage and then take up on the other side of the property near Central High School. This picture, taken in the early 1950’s on the street at the edge of the Cherry Community features my dear hubby, his dad and two of his siblings Greg and Beverly Perry.  Unfortunately, three of them have passed on, but I still have the hubby!

Albert Perry, Leroy Perry, Gregory Perry and Beverly Perry at the end of Cecil Street in the early 1950's.  Photo from the author's collection.

Albert Perry, Leroy Perry, Gregory Perry and Beverly Perry at the end of Cecil Street in the early 1950’s. Photo from the author’s collection.

Here is what that spot looks like today:

Cecil Street at Kings Drive 2015.  Image courtesy of Google Earth.

Cecil Street at Kings Drive 2015. Image courtesy of Google Earth.

I wish that my late father in law could have seen the changes in his hometown.  Oh well, I think he is looking down and smiling. I hope that everyone has a safe holiday weekend!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 2, 2015 in History, Neighborhoods, People

 

Tags: , ,

Want some books to read?

During this arctic weather spell, I went by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to find some books on local history good or bad – well, more along the lines of what happens beneath the surface of our fair city. Well, I found two books, both published by The History Press of Charleston, South Carolina.

Wicked Charlotte, The Sordid Side of the Queen City by Stephanie Burt Williams (2006) explores crimes dating back to the American Revolution including murder, prostitution, bootlegging and larceny from the murder of a well known sheriff with ties to the area’s prominent families to Henry Louis Wallace, the city’s first black serial killer.  She also explores the effects of the nation’s first gold rush on the region and how some people took advantage of other people in the pursuit of gold.

A sequel of sorts, Charlotte Murder, Mystery and Mayhem by David Aaron Moore (2008) explores more of the seedy underside of the city that the tourist books don’t tell you about.  His stories range from a 13 year old  church arsonist to a lynching that is that I never heard of until I read this book and touches on the 1965 firebombings of Fred Alexander and Dr. Reginald Hawkins.

Both of these books can be found at Park Road Books, located in the Park Road Shopping Center (which by the way was one of the first suburban shopping centers in Charlotte!) if they don’t have it in stock, they will be happy to order them for you.

Happy reading!

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2015 in History, People, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Louis Asbury

People who have lived in Charlotte all of their lives may or may not have heard of this fellow Charlottean, but may have seen his work without knowing the person.  Well, let me introduce him.

Louis Asbury, born in Charlotte in 1877 and died in 1975 was one of the first full time, professionally trained architect licensed in North Carolina, holding license # 4 when North Carolina required architects to be licenced in order to practice in 1915.  A graduate of Trinity College (now Duke University) with additional training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he first started his practice in New York City and moved back to North Carolina in 1908.  His building style was influenced by a trip through Europe after graduating from Trinity, as evidenced by some of his work.

During his practice, he designed not only schools and churches, including Myers Park Methodist Church (he was one of the founding members) but also courthouses in Charlotte and Rutherfordton.  Here are some of the buildings that he helped design:

Parks-Hutchinson School now the Performance Learning Center.  Image courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission via Google Images.

Parks-Hutchinson School now the Performance Learning Center. Image courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission via Google Images.

Myers Park UMC.  Picture courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission

Myers Park UMC. Picture courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission.

 

Mecklenburg County Courthouse.  Picture courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission via Google Images

Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Picture courtesy of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission via Google Images

If you want to learn more about this visionary, please check out these sites (this is where I got most of my information):

http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/people/P000449, written by William B. Bushong and Catherine W. Bishir with contribution by Dr. Dan Morrill and Charlotte Brown

http://www.cmhpf.org/ – This is the site for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, which has a lot of information on Charlotte and Mecklenburg County history.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2015 in Buildings, History, People

 

Tags: , , , ,

Anyone remember this building before the State took it over?

This lonely building at the corner of West Trade and South Graham Streets sits in the shadow of BB&T and Bank of America Stadiums serves as a reminder of Charlotte in its small town days.  Serving as a full service Buick dealership, it was owned by C. C. Coddington (the first C standing for Charles) it was a showcase in its day.

The Coddington Building. Picture taken January 2015 by the author.

The Coddington Building. Picture taken January 2015 by the author.

Built in 1925 it served as his Buick Dealership (one of his officers was Lee Folger, who would go on to establish his own Buick dealership later) which was one of the first in the Carolinas.  When it was completed in 1925 at the west end of Center City Charlotte near the Southern Railway station on West Trade Street it was considered one if the finest buildings in the City. This building also housed WBT Radio (1110 AM), which Mr. Coddington brought in 1925 and used the call letters to help promote his dealership (Watch Buicks Travel).   I found this picture of the almost completed building on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Website:

Coddington Building, 1925.  Picture courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Coddington Building, 1925. Picture courtesy of the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

After it was sold to the State of North Carolina and renamed the Polk Building for President James K. Polk of Pineville it was used for various state agencies until they moved out to the suburbs in the early 1990’s.  According to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Real Estate Lookup database, it was sold by the state to Trinity Capital Partners in 2006 which turned around and sold it to the Crosland Company and one of their subsidiaries in 2008. in It has stood as a lone symbol on West Trade Street of what the City used to look like; deteriorating with scaffolding that has been there for at least a decade it is a shame that the current owners try to rehab and bring it back to its glory it like they did with the old Charlotte Cotton Mills just one block over on West Fifth Street.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 5, 2015 in Buildings, History, People

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. – A forgotten Charlottean

Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. (1886-1931) is one of those people that outside of the Prince Hall Masonic family here in Charlotte that no one knows anything about. Serving as the Imperial Potentate for the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Prince Hall Affiliated (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.) or better known as the Shriners, he also served as the presiding officer of Paul Drayton Lodge # 7, later serving the Prince Hall Grand Lodge as the Grand Senior Warden.

Ceasar R. Blake as Imperial Potentate.  Photo Courtesy of Willie Harris, Jr.

Ceasar R. Blake, Jr.  as Imperial Potentate of the Prince Hall Shriners. Photo Courtesy of P.P Willie Harris, Jr.of Rameses Temple # 51

In his private life, according to the 1912 Hills Charlotte City Directory (page 131), he was a clerk with Norfolk and Southern Railway (page 331) and lived at 411 East 1st Street which was between Brevard and Caldwell Streets in the old Brooklyn neighborhood.  When he passed away in 1931, he was buried at Pinewood Cemetery, which was set aside for blacks as it was custom and and law during this period.

Headstone for Ceasar R. Blake, Jr.  at Pinewood Cemetery.  Photo taken by the author April 2009

Headstone for Ceasar R. Blake, Jr. at Pinewood Cemetery. Photo taken by the author April 2009

I encourage you to read more about him or the period in which he lived.

I got my information from:

1912 Hills Charlotte City Directory (Hackley and Moale Printers) via DigitalNC.org

History of Prince Hall Masonry and Appendant Bodies in the Charlotte Area, 32nd and 33rd Districts, Formerly the 19th and 20th Masonic Districts & 14th and 24th OES Districts by James E. Harrell (self-published, 1994)

Photo Credits:

Picture of Mr. Blake courtesy of Mr. Willie Harris, Jr.

Headstone photo by the author taken April 2009

Update (01/11/15):  Thanks to my husband who reminded me that First Street did not cross Sugar Creek back in those days,  I went back to verify my information and to find the right place via the 1911 Sanford Fire Insurance Map located at:

http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/ncmaps/id/2298/rec/6

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 10, 2015 in History, People, Streets

 

Tags: , ,